When you're having problems eating

Whether it's the cancer itself or the treatment being used to get rid of it, cancer patients often suffer from some form of eating problem

  • Tell your doctor if you are having problems with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or pain. Medications can help.
     
  • Check with your doctor about the use of laxatives or stool softeners if constipation is a problem.
     
  • Try adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of wheat bran to your food or drinking warm prune juice 3 or 4 times a day. Constipation can often contribute to decreased appetite.
     
  • Eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day.
     
  • Try eating foods that need less chewing, such as cottage cheese, eggs, fish and soft meats.
     
  • Try chopped or ground meats mixed with a sauce in a casserole if meats are too difficult to eat or don't taste good.
     
  • Include fruits and juices with your meals. These are usually easy to eat and may perk up your taste for other foods.
     
  • Allow friends and family to prepare meals for you. Don't hesitate to accept their offers. Be sure to tell them if there are certain foods you can't eat very well or don't like.
     
  • Take advantage of the times you feel well. Breakfast is the best meal for many people.
     
  • Sometimes an appetite stimulant can be helpful. Talk to your doctor about whether one could help you.
     
  • Try a commercially prepared liquid nutritional supplement or a milkshake if you don't feel like eating.

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